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Shriver Sworn In as Special Assistant to President, Will Lead “War on Poverty”

Feb. 18, 1964 - President Johnson opened a Cabinet meeting today by having Sargent Shriver (right) sworn in as his special assistant in charge of the “war on poverty.” The President closed the meeting with thanks and a tribute to Theodore Sorensen, his special counsel, who is leaving Feb. 29 and was attending his final Cabinet session.

At the meeting, Mr. Shriver, who is also director of the Peace Corps, outlined plans for the attack on poverty. Secretary of State Dean Rusk reviewed the world situation, and Lawrence O’Brien discussed the progress of the Administration’s legislative program.

The poverty program was the first order of business, however. Mr. Johnson and the Cabinet members stood by as Herbert Miller (left), a White House clerk, administered the oath to Mr. Shriver. They broke into applause as the oath was completed. The President then said Mr. Shriver was “due double congratulations; he not only took the oath of office, but had a new baby this morning.” A fourth child, their third son, was born this morning at Georgetown Hospital to Mr. and Mrs. Shriver, the former Eunice Kennedy.

Mr. Shriver was ready for the President’s remark. He produced a box of cigars and offered them around the table. “All I ask is that somebody keep these away from Pierre Salinger,” he said, in reference to the White House Press Secretary’s well-known smoking habits.


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